Formula 1 (F1) lovers can view never-before-seen cars, relics, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage when the first-ever F1 Exhibition opens in Madrid on March 23rd. Combining spectacular audio-visual design, rare imagery, and large-scale interactive displays, the exhibition lifts the lid on the past, present, and future of F1.
Make your way through seven specially commissioned rooms, each offering a unique perspective surrounding the sport.
Beginning in The Human Race, step into the world of racing, where you’ll be welcomed by a cinematic opener telling the story of F1 and what lies ahead. In the next room — the Design Lab — you’ll head to an F1 factory, where you’ll get a rare glimpse of how five different F1 teams thoroughly develop the different components of their cars.
Progressing to Once Upon A Time In Formula 1, you’ll take a trip through the sport’s illustrious history via short documentaries, large-scale photographs, previously unseen artefacts, and interviews with renowned personalities like Enzo Ferrari and Ayrton Senna. Then there’s the circuit-inspired Drivers and Duels room, where you can explore the champions’ groundbreaking moments.
There’s also a hall of fame with an interactive display wall and a unique collection of historical memorabilia. There, you can see the inner workings of a modern-day F1 hybrid power unit. It’s the only place you can see any engine from the luxury Italian auto manufacturer, Ferrari, too. Their power unit from the 2021 season will be on show — the first time ever they’ve been so public with their inner workings.
For the first time, you can come face to face with the violent remains of Romain Grosjean’s car following his dramatic crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. The former Haas driver hit the wall at 193 kilometres per hour and spent 28 seconds engulfed in flames before climbing out to safety. While the remains of Grosjean’s car — which split in half and exploded — have been kept under wraps since then, the chassis will be accompanied by newly-released footage of the crash in the Survival exhibition.
If you’re a fan of Pierre Gasly, you’ll be happy to see his Italian Grand Prix-winning AlphaTauri car from the same season. The car secured his and the team’s maiden victory in F1, marking the first French F1 driver to win the race since 1996.
Revolution by Design takes you through the most pivotal designs, breakthrough innovations, and new technologies in the engineering labs before the exhibit reaches its peak in The Pit Wall, a six-minute cinematic extravaganza that brings the 73-year story of the Grand Prix to life.
What else can sports lovers do in Madrid?
Madrid is a paradise for sports lovers, with some of the best football teams in the world — Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, and Rayo Vallecano — situated in the country. The Madrid Open and bullfighting are also popular and a must-see if you’re in Spain.
Football fans can visit the Santiago Bernabéu, home to Real Madrid, and take a guided tour of the dressing rooms, facilities, the team’s impressive trophy collection, and even the field perimeter. Atlético de Madrid supporters can visit Civitas Metropolitano Stadium and feel like a player by visiting the locker room and walking through the tunnel. Attendees even get the unique opportunity to access a corner of the pitch and take one of the most impressive photos in the stadium.
Translating to ‘magic box’, Caja Mágica is home to three tennis stadiums, and every spring, it hosts some of the biggest names for the Mutua Madrid Open. It’s an experience in itself when Spaniard Rafael Nadal takes to the court — the roar is deafening. While you can’t tour the stadium, you can play a game or two of tennis on one of the public courts, relax in the onsite pool and spa, and buy souvenirs in the shopping area.
Take a unique visit to the Las Ventas bullring, where you’ll enjoy the history and details of a major part of Spain’s sporting culture. Head down to the bullring where the action takes place, then visit the museum to see the traditional costumes, artwork, posters, and even bull heads. End the tour by becoming a matador and trying your hand at wrangling a bull in a virtual game.
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Lead image: Hafiz Johari